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Edwin Aldrin, Jr.

Col., USAF

Pioneer U.S. Astronaut

Born Montclair, New Jersey

January 20, 1930 -

Edwin Eugene Aldrin graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science Degree, became a rated pilot in the USAF by 1952, and received his Doctorate of Science from Massachussets Institute of Technology in 1963.

"Buzz" Aldrin flew 66 combat missions in the Korean War and is credited with two confirmed victories. After serving as a test pilot and gunnery instructor he was assigned to the Air Force Academy as Assistant to the Dean. He entered the space program in the Air Force Space Systems Division where he was selected for Astronaut training.

Aldrin's first space flight was on the November 11 1966 Gemini 12 Mission where he performed a rendezvous with a previously launched satellite and spent a record 5.112 hours outside the Gemini in extra-vehicular activity.

As lunar module pilot for the historic July 16-24 1969 Apollo XI first Moon landing mission, he controlled the craft with great precision, placing the vehicle squarley on target. He became the second man to walk on the Moon when he followed Neil Armstrong to the surface on July 20, spending 2 hours and 15 minutes collecting surface samples and deploying experiments. He piloted the Eagle back into space to rendezvous with the parent Apollo spacecraft "Columbia" for return to earth. Colonel Aldrin has logged more than 289 hours in space flight.

Colonel Aldrin retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1972 to form his own aerospace consulting firm.

Invested 1971 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984

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